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Posts from the ‘Reading Updates’ Category

“To crave and to have are as like as a thing and its shadow.”

So I wasn’t crazy about the opening paragraph in Housekeeping, as I explained recently.

But as I mentioned in that same post, Marilynne Robinson’s writing style is much less choppy, much more poetic, throughout the rest of the book.

Almost all the characters in Housekeeping have a great sense of loneliness and longing. It’s a melancholy novel.

Here’s one of the more beautifully written, poetic passages from the novel: Read more

Here’s An Example of Commas Gone Wild

Y’all know I’m big on opening sentences. The first page, the first chapter, of a novel really sets the tone.

So, when I came across this doozy at the beginning of Housekeeping, I must admit that my eyes started to cross. Read more

“A Fragrant of Forgotten Experience”

A House for Mr. Biswas is full of beautiful passages.

But this one might be the best: Read more

The Isolation of Mr. Biswas

Yeah, I’m not a big fan of V.S. Naipaul, the person. But, man, can that dude write.

The poetic nature of his writing reminds me a little of Fitzgerald. Here’s another beautiful passage from A House for Mr. Biswas: Read more

Mr. Biswas And His “Nagging” Wife

I’ve mentioned before, specifically in this post, about V.S. Naipaul’s misogynistic reputation.

Now, granted, A House for Mr. Biswas is my first experience reading Naipaul’s work, so I’m hardly an expert on him. But some of his quotes in the past about women have been telling, especially for a Nobel Prize winner. Read them here.

I’d be lying if I said his views on those subjects hadn’t been in the back of my mind while reading this novel. So, when I came to the following passage, I probably raised an eyebrow (or two). This passage is describing how Mr. Biswas is adjusting to having moved to a new village with his fairly new wife.  Read more

Here’s How NOT To Buy A House

I’ve only read the prologue and first chapter of A House for Mr. Biswas, but I love the premise of the novel. It’s simplistic—almost Seinfeldesque in a sense.

Here’s a guy who just wants his own house.

From what I can tell, the prologue places you toward the end of the story, after Mr. Biswas finally found said house, before dropping you into the backstory at the beginning of the novel.

I love Naipaul’s description of this house. Read more

Help Me Pick The Next Novel I’ll Read

So this is the post where I usually select and preview my next read, but I thought it would be fun to let you guys weigh in this time.

This current batch of five novels includes The Confessions of Nat Turner and Lucky Jim (both already read), plus Housekeeping, Naked Lunch, and A House for Mr. Biswas (none of which have been read).

So I want you to help me pick which of those three novels I should read next. As a refresher, here’s how I described them in my “next 5 novels” post: Read more


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